Man vs Machine

Geoffrey Road is being dug up and resurfaced today. We mention this for two reasons, one particular to the street, the other a more general point.

Geoffrey Road is officially designated a minor residential road. However, by virtue of the fact that you can shave a few seconds off your journey to Lewisham or Ladywell if you drive up it, it is a major rat run, often clogged with traffic in the morning and evening rush hours. Local residents and the Brockley Cross Action Group have long campaigned for the road layout to be remodelled to reduce stress on this road and the other affected roads in the conservation area. The Council, while sympathetic to the problem, has pleaded poverty.

So while Geoffrey Road is in undeniably poor shape and we do need roads, we do wonder why improving this particular road - thus encouraging drivers - should be a priority at this time, when there are so many other deserving candidates. Why not wait until you have the money to do a proper traffic impact study and give local residents the remodelled system they've been asking for for so long?

The wider point is that, while the road surface is bad on Geoffrey Road, the pavement is many times worse. It is in dreadful condition, sunken in places, covered in broken tarmac in others and with tripping hazards every few feet. It is not one of the pavements targeted for resurfacing by the Council for the foreseeable future.

Geoffrey Road is not exceptional - many of Brockley's pavements are in very poor condition. Rather than relaying roads that we are trying to discourage drivers from using, why can't we spend the money relaying pavements that we do want people to use?


Nick Wade said...

Now you're just plain ranting. They resurface a road, and you take issue with this?

Brockley Nick said...

Hardly a "rant" - I'm just saying that if there are scarce resources for improving Lewisham's roads, why prioritise a road that people aren't supposed to use half as much as they do anyway and why not reallocate some of that road-improving money to spend it on building better pavements, rather than better roads.

That would be my priority. Please feel free to say why you think otherwise.

Anonymous said...

God forbid that drivers looking for a road should have a road to drive on. Why don't we just turn the whole of the UK into a nice park?

Brockley Nick said...

Anon, I specifically say that "we do need roads" - this is not an anti-road article - but we also need to prioritise. So why prioritise a road the Council is trying to discourage people from using?

By all means challenge the article, but please do it on the basis of having read it.

Brockley Jon said...

Completely agree re. the pavements. Certain roads seem to do a lot better than others (Manor Av for example) but generally the constant water leaks, cabling, and lack of investment is taking its toll.

We shouldn’t under-estimate the effect that poor pavements have on the area. The pavement is the first thing you come into contact with when walking down a street, even though we don’t normally give it a second thought. It subtly sets a tone for the whole road.

Bins on the street make for smelly slaloms, or being forced to walk in the road. Low curbs (from constantly adding road surface without digging down first) mean that cars park at angles along the pavements, blocking it for pedestrians, and generally making it look messy.

These are not always things that give us reason to call the authorities, but they impact our daily lives, often in a subliminal way.

St John's resident said...

It's surpising how little Lewisham council appears to care about ameliorating traffic flow in rat-runs. So long as there's not too many people dying on these roads they prefer to leave the status quo in place. And as for traffic impact studies, they don't like to carry these out as they can stretch over more than one financial year from inception to completion, which is apparently too complex to plan for.

Brockley Kate said...

Yes, our pavements really are almost third-world; I haven't seen any other area of London with pavements as bad.

Anonymous said...

The worst pavements - but also the cleanest :-)

Anonymous said...

Ah the road surfacing! I did not think that the surface down geoffrey Road looked that bad not compared to UBR. I also think that traffic deterrant measures might have been helpful or at least consideration of an additional pedestrian crossing towards the Brockley x end as it is a nightmare crossing in the mornings. The general road works in the area have exacerbated problems such as drivers using the garage premises to 'rat run' the rat run, as cars going both ways up the UBR one way and there were several very near misses last week. This does however enliven the home workers day considerably.

Anonymous said...

Well, what a nice job they've done of it! The road is now liquid smooth to drive on, with no bumps or flunks. Nice one :-)

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